I recently finished Andrew Smith’s The Marbury Lens over the holidays and it was, without doubt, my favorite read of 2010 (spec-fic or otherwise). That recommendation is one of the reasons why I wanted to write this post, but I also wanted to ask a question about one of the book’s qualities — one that has earned it both praise and some criticism.
The Marbury Lens, as with many fantasy novels, asks a lot of questions and offers more than its share of interesting questions. What it doesn’t do is wrap things up and answer/explain the many mysteries that unfold throughout the story. Without giving anything specific away, the book deals with reality and perception and trauma, and leaves the reader with a lingering air of mystery (and more than a little confusion). In that way, it’s similar to the spinning top ending of Inception. Some readers will dislike this, some will love it.
My question is, what does it take for an ending to satisfy you? Do you like everything explained and spelled out, or do you prefer a mysterious ending that provokes argument?
Personally, I think both can be satisfying if done right. There’s nothing like a comfortable note of finality in that last sentence/paragraph of a novel. But then again, books like The Marbury Lens stick with me precisely because they don’t offer up all their secrets. Worth a thought, though. What do you guys think?
(Oh, and def go read The Marbury Lens, in case this post was too subtle
Nick, who never reveals all his secrets!